The latest X-Men film has given fans a look back in time, creating an offshoot of the original X-Men film series, and it seems FX is planning to add an even more direct offshoot of the X-Men franchise with a new series to be executive produced by Fargo‘s own Noah Hawley. According to recent interviews with Hawley, his X-Men television series, entitled Legion, will feature new X-Men characters and will have little, if anything, to do with the X-Men film series.
Legion Showrunner Noah Hawley On Making A New X-Men Universe
Even the premise of Legion tells fans not to expect to see any crossovers from their favorite X-Men film characters, because it’s essentially going to be an entirely new vision, picking up with the story of the son of Charles Xavier, David Haller (Dan Stevens). Legion will primarily feature David as he faces challenges on two fronts. First, Haller will be confronted with mental illness, a subject Hollywood is only just beginning to put out there in the hopes of eliminating the stigma surrounding such illnesses as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Adding to Haller’s struggles, he suddenly has to come to terms with his newly acquired superpowers.
For X-Men fans already beginning to question whether Legion will have that same old X-Men feel to it, you’re not alone in your confusion. Even the Legion showrunner reveals that he’s not quite certain just how Legion will fit into the X-Men universe, or if it will fit in at all. Perhaps, audiences will find themselves looking in on an alternate reality?
“It’s a little more of a fable in my mind. If you were to say, ‘Where is it, and when is it?,’ it’s not exactly clear, I think. And a lot of it is because he’s not exactly clear. It’s the world as perceived subjectively on some level. The recent X-Men movies, starting with First Class, are rooted in a time period and a world and playing with history in interesting ways. This isn’t doing that.”
Legion Gives Schizophrenia A Voice
While Legion’s place in the X-Men film universe may still be something of an enigma, even more so after asking Hawley to try to explain it, there are more concrete details when it comes to the Legion main character. Hawley knows just where he’s going with the David Haller character, right down to the mental illness with which the Legion character must come to terms.
“The diagnosis that he has when we meet him is schizophrenic. He hears voices, and he sees things that are maybe real or aren’t real, and he’s not sure,” says the Legion showrunner. “I want to explore, on some level, the reality of what it’s like to have those abilities in a more existential way.”
Hawley says his Legion main character will have to come to terms with learning that he’s not at all ill, after having accepted that he does have a mental illness. Such a scenario will undoubtedly create an emotional roller coaster for viewers, as well as for Legion‘s Dan Stevens.
“So it’s not, ‘You have these powers; now run!’ More in the idea that you go through your life with this identity as a crazy person, and then someone comes along and says, ‘No, actually, you’re perfectly sane, and have the abilities you have,’ which sounds like what a crazy person’s thoughts would be,” explains Hawley. “I love the idea that even when you’re in it on the journey, there is this Alice in Wonderland quality to it, of a story within a story.”
There is no release date for Legion as of this time, but it is set to air on the FX network sometime this year.
[Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]